sparqs' News - 2021

sparqs' 2021-22 Course Rep Training is open for bookings! 19 Aug 2021

Bookings are now open for institutions to request sparqs' 2021-22 Course Rep Training ....for delivery from week beginning Monday 20th September 2021 onwards. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year's training is continuing in an online format, and… Read More

Meet our Associate Trainer team for 2021-22 19 Aug 2021

We are delighted to introduce our excellent team of student Associate Trainers (ATs) for the coming academic year. The team includes eight newly-recruited trainers and six returners from previous years, including one trainer who is returning for her fifth year… Read More

SESN on 14th September 2021 is open to book! 19 Aug 2021

Bookings are open for the next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network, taking place online on Tuesday 14th September 2021 from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  The network is aimed at staff in universities and colleges with student engagement and academic representation development roles. Our agenda for the… Read More

NEON on 30th September 2021 is open to book! 19 Aug 2021

Join us for the first sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) meeting of the 2021-22 academic year, on Thursday 30th September 2021, from 10.00am until 1.00pm.   The network is designed to be a space for officers to network and work on issues together in a… Read More

That’s Quality! 2021 events roundup 19 Aug 2021

Over the summer we held our annual induction events for college and university student officers. The focus of both events was the impact of COVID-19 on the quality landscape for education officers. It was fantastic to have so many enthusiastic… Read More

sparqs' support to student officers for 2021-22 19 Aug 2021

Around June/July each year, we usually post out welcome packs, including some key sparqs' resources, to new and returning student officers with an education remit.  As we were still working from home, we instead sent welcome emails this year, highlighting sparqs'… Read More

We are recruiting a Development Consultant! - closing date 12noon on 16th July 06 Jul 2021

We are currently recruiting a Development Consultant to join the staff team We are seeking an enthusiastic, dedicated and committed individual to help contribute to our vision and strategy, and to deliver a range of activities, including training, consultancy support and research and… Read More

Save the dates for the next SESN and NEON meetings! 06 Jul 2021

We've now set dates for our next series of staff and officer network meetings, SESN and NEON respectively, taking us up until the end of 2021, so please hold them in diaries if relevant!  Both networks are continuing to run more… Read More

Student Engagement Awards and Celebrating Success Report 2021 06 Jul 2021

Congratulations to all of our Student Engagement Award-winners and thanks to everyone who joined us on 22nd June for the Awards ceremony, which also included the launch of our report Celebrating Successful Partnerships in 2020-21. The report features many of the… Read More

Updated SLE resource: suggested questions for course reps 06 Jul 2021

We are pleased to launch our updated resource, Suggested questions for course reps: COVID-19 edition (2021-22), designed to help course reps gather crucial student feedback during the ongoing health crisis. As we come to the beginning of a new academic… Read More

That's Quality! events reminder ....last chance to sign up for TQ Universities! 06 Jul 2021

A reminder that our That's Quality! summer induction events for new college and university student officers (and staff who support them) are still open for registrations.   Both events will again be taking place online, and while they are taking place over… Read More

Our That's Quality! 2021 online events are open to book! 08 Jun 2021

We are pleased to announce that our That's Quality! summer induction events for new college and university student officers (and staff who support them) are now open for registrations.  Both events will again be taking place online, and while they are… Read More

sparqs' Student Engagement Awards: join us for the results on 22nd June! 08 Jun 2021

Nominations have closed for the sparqs' Student Engagement Awards 2021, a process that has seen over fifty submissions across our six categories. Shortlisting is now underway, and the high quality and diversity of the submissions means it’s a tough job for… Read More

New toolkit for education officer “outduction” 08 Jun 2021

We are delighted to launch a new resource: “Developing the future careers of students’ association education officers - An Outduction Toolkit”, in conjunction with College Development Network, Advance HE and NUS Charity. Each year, education officers leave their posts with an incredible… Read More

Launch of new staff development toolkit on student engagement 08 Jun 2021

We are delighted to announce the publication of sparqs’ new toolkit for staff development. Titled “Exploring student engagement with academic staff”, the toolkit builds on, and updates, our past staff development materials to reflect the changing learning experience of this… Read More

Briefing note to outgoing 2020-21 course reps 08 Jun 2021

We recently circulated our latest briefing note to course reps, part of a series of briefing notes and direct communications to course reps this year, to support their work and provide extra guidance for them during COVID-19.  This latest briefing is a message… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Heloisa Fyfe 30 Apr 2021

In this interview, we talk to Heloisa Fyfe, Vice-President (Representation and Volunteers) at Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association (ENSA). Previously, she was a Festival and Event Management student and a Programme Rep at Edinburgh Napier University. 1. Can you tell us about… Read More

A reminder re the joint QAA/sparqs Student-led Project Event on 25th May 2021 30 Apr 2021

A reminder that there's still time to sign up for our joint, student-led project event with QAA Scotland on 25th May....   As part of the current QAA Enhancement Theme – ‘Resilient Learning Communities’ - sparqs and QAA Scotland are working collaboratively… Read More

SESN on 13th May 2021 is open to book! 30 Apr 2021

Bookings are open for the next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network, taking place online on Thursday 13th May 2021 from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  The network is aimed at staff in universities and colleges with student engagement and academic representation development roles. Our agenda contains two major discussions.… Read More

Bookings are open for NEON on 20th May 2021 + the new NEON mailing list! 30 Apr 2021

Join us for the final sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) meeting of the 2020-21 academic year, on Thursday 20th May 2021, from 10.00am until 1.00om.   The network is designed to be a space for officers to network and work on issues together in a… Read More

Our 2021-22 Associate Trainer recruitment is still open! 30 Apr 2021

A reminder that sparqs 2021-22 Associate Trainer recruitment is still open for applications - deadline 9.00am, Monday 17th May 2021! .Calling all course reps and apprentice reps! Do you have experience as a course rep or apprentice rep? Will you be a student or… Read More

Submit to our Student Engagement Awards 2021! 30 Apr 2021

sparqs is proud to announce our Student Engagement Awards for 2021! In what would normally be a year for our internationally renowned biennial conference, the challenges for student engagement and the importance of partnership are at the forefront of our… Read More

Your Course Rep Training options for 2021-22 30 Apr 2021

We are in the process of contacting Course Rep Training Organisers within Scottish institutions (the person who manages and oversees course rep systems) to ask about institutional plans for Course Rep Training delivery in 2021-22. A prompt reply (even if… Read More

sparqs is recruiting student Associate Trainers 29 Mar 2021

sparqs 2021-22 Associate Trainer recruitment is open for applications - deadline 9.00am, Monday 17th May 2021! .Calling all course reps and apprentice reps! Do you have experience as a course rep or apprentice rep? Will you be a student or apprentice during 2021-22? If so,… Read More

Please note that sparqs will be closed from 1st-9th April 29 Mar 2021

Please note that sparqs will be closed from 1st-9th April inclusive, to allow for an Easter leave period for the staff team. We will reopen on Monday 12th April. While the office is closed, you can leave a message via the website or leave a voicemail… Read More

Student-led Project Event on 25th May 2021: ‘Innovations in Digital Student Communities' 29 Mar 2021

As part of the current QAA Enhancement Theme – ‘Resilient Learning Communities’ - sparqs and QAA Scotland are working collaboratively to facilitate the delivery of the Student-led Project (SLP). The SLP engages student officers from across the sector to input… Read More

New briefing note for officers on the SFC Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability 29 Mar 2021

We are pleased to publish our latest briefing note for student officers around the ongoing SFC Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability.  The purpose of this latest briefing note is to explore student engagement in the review as it enters into the… Read More

sparqs' COVID-19 course rep briefing on transitions 29 Mar 2021

We have recently circulated our latest briefing note to course reps, part of a series of briefing notes and direct communications to course reps this year, to support their work and provide extra guidance for them during COVID-19.  This latest briefing… Read More

SESN on 15th April 2021 is still open to book! 29 Mar 2021

The next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network is taking place on Thursday 15th April 2021 from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  There's still time to book if you're planning to attend. The network is aimed at staff in universities and colleges with student engagement and… Read More

Save the dates for this year’s That’s Quality! events 29 Mar 2021

The dates have now been confirmed for our annual induction events for officers, both of which will take place online via Zoom. That’s Quality! Universities will take place on Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th July 2021. That's Quality! Colleges will take place on… Read More

A recap of additions to our COVID-19 information hub 29 Mar 2021

In case you missed them, a quick recap of some recent additions to our COVID-19 information hub (which aren't already the main feature of another article)....  . Save the date for our next NEON meeting on Thursday 20th May 2021Our regular, online, national… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Charlie Reis 29 Mar 2021

In this interview, we talk to Charlie Reis, Director of the Educational Development Unit at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XTJLU) in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China and founder of CAPED, the China-based Association for Partnership in Educational Development. He has been living… Read More

sparqs' team news 04 Mar 2021

An update on some recent and forthcoming staff team news.... At the end of February we were very sad to say farewell to two members of our staff team, Hannah Clarke and Denise McCaig.  Hannah has been with sparqs since June 2014… Read More

Your case studies for our major report celebrating partnership during the pandemic 04 Mar 2021

What successful partnership have you and colleagues developed during the COVID-19 pandemic? sparqs is planning a report to highlight and celebrate the successes of engagement and partnership across Scotland in this challenging academic year. We are seeking your examples for this… Read More

Updated education officer induction resource for colleges and their students’ associations 04 Mar 2021

Our guide to developing an education officer induction in colleges has been updated for the 2020-21 year and aims to provide support for the effective engagement of the students’ association education officer, Vice-President (Education) or equivalent. It is specific to colleges,… Read More

SESN on 9th March 2021 is still open to book! 04 Mar 2021

Our Student Engagement Staff Network will have its next meeting on Tuesday 9th March from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  There's still time to book if you're planning to attend.  The network is aimed at staff in universities and colleges with student engagement and academic representation development roles. The… Read More

March's NEON meeting is open to book! 04 Mar 2021

Bookings are now open for the next meeting of our National Education Officers' Network (NEON) on Thursday 18th March 2021, from 10.00am until 1.00pm. NEON is designed to be a space for officers to network and work on issues together in… Read More

Sharing your practice in student engagement 04 Mar 2021

At a time of uncertainty and change, it is ever more important that the wonderful student engagement work that institutions and students’ associations are doing can be celebrated and shared around the sector. So this article is a guide to… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Kevin Sinclair 04 Mar 2021

In this interview, we talk to Kevin Sinclair, Student Engagement Manager at the University of the Highlands and Islands. His role involves activities related to engagement, student development and widening access. Prior to joining the university, he had a number… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON... New College Lanarkshire's review of their course rep and feedback systems 04 Mar 2021

New College Lanarkshire Students’ Association has been reviewing how effective their course rep system is at allowing students to get involved in qualitative feedback processes and have their voices heard. Read on to find out more about their work… After discovering… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON... UHI's COVID-19 Student Panel 03 Feb 2021

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features a new initiative from the University of the Highlands and Islands that aims to gain feedback on key changes that arise from the adjustments made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognising that various changes and interventions would be… Read More

SESN on 9th February is still open to book! 03 Feb 2021

A reminder that our Student Engagement Staff Network meeting on Tuesday 9th February 2021 (from 10.00am until 1.00pm) is still open to book!  Following consultation with network members, this meeting will be the first in our new format of monthly, half-day events. The network is… Read More

Briefing note to institutions to support student engagement in the SFC Review 03 Feb 2021

In December 2020, sparqs published a briefing note to all student officers to support ongoing engagement of students in the shaping and influencing of the SFC Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability. To complement this, we have developed, in partnership… Read More

Student Partnership Agreements during COVID-19 03 Feb 2021

We are pleased to publish a new COVID-19 SPA briefing note on how Student Partnership Agreements (SPAs) can be developed and considered during the current pandemic. Partnership practice has never been more important given the critical role of students in identifying… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Ruth Ní Bheoláin 03 Feb 2021

In this interview, we talk to Ruth Ní Bheoláin, Quality Assurance Officer at Hibernia College in Dublin, Ireland. Ruth is an experienced Quality Assurance and Enhancement professional with broad experience in higher education. She chairs the Higher Education Colleges Association’s Academic… Read More

Our SESN meeting on 9th February 2021 is open to book! 11 Jan 2021

Our Student Engagement Staff Network will have its first meeting of 2021 on Tuesday 9th February from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  Following consultation with network members, this meeting will be the first in our new format of monthly, half-day events. The network is aimed at staff… Read More

Our national events on the impact of COVID on the SLE are open to book! 11 Jan 2021

We are pleased to announce that bookings are now open for our series of 5 national events to gather the views of 5 student cohorts on the impact of COVID on their Student Learning Experience. Taking place in late January and… Read More

Happy New Year from the sparqs team! 11 Jan 2021

Happy new year from the sparqs team! We look forward to working with you all again during what will most certainly be a busy 2021!  As a sector, we have much to be proud of in terms of our response to… Read More

NEON on 21st January is still open to book! 11 Jan 2021

A reminder that bookings are still open for the next meeting of our National Education Officers' Network (NEON) on Thursday 21st January 2021, from 10.00am until 12.45pm. NEON is designed to be a space for officers to network and work on issues together… Read More

Briefing note to support student engagement in the SFC Review 11 Jan 2021

In case anyone missed this just before the break.... to support the ongoing engagement of student officers in the shaping and influencing of the Scottish Funding Council's Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability, we have produced a short briefing note for all officers.… Read More

A recap of our COVID-related resources so far 11 Jan 2021

As the new year begins, an opportunity to recap on our resources developed so far in response to the challenges of the pandemic.  Some of the older ones may not be so relevant at this point in the academic year,… Read More

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Student Engagement Framework

Student Engagement Staff Network meeting

7 Dec 2021

This is the third meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) for the 2021-22 year, and the last…

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Student Engagement Staff Network meeting

4 Nov 2021

This is the second meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) for the 2021-22 year, as part of…

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